Technical Leadership

Anna Patterson

2016 Winner of the Technical Leadership ABIE Award

The Technical Leadership ABIE Award recognizes women technologists who demonstrate leadership through their contributions to technology and achievements in increasing the impact of women on technology. This year’s winner, Anna Patterson, is currently Vice President of Engineering, Artificial Intelligence for Google and is primarily concerned with teaching computers to read and write. She is the Global Co-Chair of Women@Google, the Chair for Technical Women at Google.

Women@Google is the largest employee resource group at Google consisting of 9000 women throughout the company. During Anna’s 15 month tenure, the technical Women@Google’s membership has more than doubled. The internal women’s leadership conference at Google will be tech-only this year to focus on content and education specifically for rising women technical leaders.

She is also currently a trustee at Harvey Mudd College, a Claremont College, and a trustee at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute which focuses, one at a time, on a deep mathematical topic and gathers the world’s authorities to make progress. She is a co-founder of Progressive Women of Silicon Valley which helps host women candidates and causes in Silicon Valley, and raises over $1 million a year for these causes.

While she was in Android, she was responsible for algorithms and infrastructure, including Google Play, Books and Search and Recommendations, and Infrastructure for scaling up Android from 40 million phones to over a billion phones. She replaced the Search and Recommendations of Android Marketplace then continued building Google Play through launching Books, Movies and Music. Google Play serves over a billion customers and is the world’s largest app marketplace.

Before Android at Google, she was the architect and inventor of Google’s large search serving system TeraGoogle which, when it launched, was 50 times cheaper per search per document than the previous search infrastructure. TeraGoogle won a Google’s Founders’ Award in 2007. She also led ranking efforts in web search through Google’s IPO to determine the top ten search results, and led the rewrite of ranking function for TeraGoogle.

She is the co-founder of Cuil, a clustering-based search engine startup, and wrote Recall.archive.org, a history-based search engine out of the Internet Archive which showed trends over time. It was the first keyword-based search engine over the internet archive’s data and when it launched in 2003 had an index of 11 billion web pages. She wrote “Why writing your own search engine is hard” in the ACM Queue about this experience. She spoke at Google I/O in 2013 regarding her career history in “7 techmakers and a microphone.”

Anna Patterson received her B.S. in Computer Science from Washington University and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois – Champaign Urbana with a dissertation entitled, “Implicit Programming and the Logic of Constructible Duality.” In mathematics, she is most known for the CONCUR result that “Two finite Kripke structures are bisimilar if and only if they have the same set of valid formulas.” She was a Research Scientist at Stanford University in Artificial Intelligence working with John McCarthy on Phenomenal Data Mining.